by Ruth Ware
Published on: May 29, 2018
Audio Review: Upon turning on the audio version of The Death of Mrs. Westaway, the reader is immediately met with beautifully eerie music that sets the tone for the story perfectly. After which, a slowly unravelled story surrounding a girl, Hal, who receives a letter from a lawyer stating she has been left an inheritance begins. Even though Hal knows this cannot be correct, she goes to the funeral and to the home afterwards in hopes that the Will may leave her with just a little to pay off her debts. The longer she spends time with the family, the more she sees their estrangement from each other and the more questions raise up within her regarding the history of Trepassen estate.
The trouble in relaying this story to audio is that a majority of this story is the inner dialogue the main character has with herself. Quite often you find her questioning her motives and her decisions, chastising herself, giving herself encouragement, as well as reminding her of advice her mother gave her in years past. All this helps to set the mood and the tone that is the bedrock of the suspenseful mystery. However, the lack of conversations within the book is very noticeable on audio. This has a direct impact in that the narrator isn’t provided with many opportunities to display her range of unique voices and as a result the reader/listener isn’t provided with a change of accents or voice inflections that helps to keep a reader engaged.
All in all, my recommendation would be to read the book instead of listening to it on audio, but just note that it probably should still be a shorter book with less internal conversations and perhaps more hints or opportunities for the main character to learn more family background.